Did someone in the Obama administration force Chrysler, as part of its reorganization, to order the closure of auto dealerships mostly among Republica
May 29, 2009

Did someone in the Obama administration force Chrysler, as part of its reorganization, to order the closure of auto dealerships mostly among Republicans, while leaving Democratic-owned dealerships intact?

Naaaah. What, are you kidding me? But, you know, it sounded really good to Michelle Malkin. Mostly because she loves to fancy herself an "investigative journalist" and these kinds of "scoops" entrance her on a regular basis. Of course, the fact that none of them ever pan out seems not to deter her in the slightest.

Malkin, along with her intrepid pals at Newsbusters and a variety of other right-wing blogs, were all over it yesterday. Malkin appeared on Fox and Friends in the morning to tout her latest liberal-perfidy theory.

Too bad it took only a flick of Nate Silver's wrist to blow it all to smithereens. Seems that when you go looking at political donations by occupation, people who list "auto dealers" or some variation thereof are Republican by about an 8-1 margin:

Overall, 88 percent of the contributions from car dealers went to Republican candidates and just 12 percent to Democratic candidates. By comparison, the list of dealers on Doug Ross's list (which I haven't vetted, but I assume is fine) gave 92 percent of their money to Republicans -- not really a significant difference.

There's no conspiracy here, folks -- just some bad math.

It shouldn't be any surprise, by the way, that car dealers tend to vote -- and donate -- Republican. They are usually male, they are usually older (you don't own an auto dealership in your 20s), and they have obvious reasons to be pro-business, pro-tax cut, anti-green energy and anti-labor. Car dealerships need quite a bit of space and will tend to be located in suburban or rural areas. I can't think of too many other occupations that are more natural fits for the Republican Party.

You can just toss this one on the ashheap of such discarded Malkin "investigative scoops" as the General Ripperesque notion that the Flight 93 memorial is actually a tribute to the terrorists or that a suicide bomber in Oklahoma was the forerunner of an Islamic conspiracy there. She likewise groundlessly attacked the Pulitzer winner in photography as a secret Jihadi sympathizer; attacked USA Today with conspiratorial accusations for a badly retouched photo; and perhaps most notoriously, tried to ferret out a nefarious conspiracy by the Associated Press in Baghdad that turned out to be completely false. Though perhaps nothing quite matches her attack on a 12-year-old that again turned out to be a case of overwrought right-wing fantasizing. But then, that incident pretty much was a case of self-immolation.

Steve Benen and Bob Cesca have more.

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